Ja­panese dis­count chain to pull Nazi out­fit

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

TOKYO: A Ja­panese dis­count chain said Tues­day it will pull a Nazi cos­tume from its shelves af­ter a com­plaint from a Jewish or­ga­ni­za­tion in the U.S.

The cos­tume on sale at re­tailer Don Qui­jote Co. in­cludes a black jacket with a red swastika arm­band in a pack­age that has a sketch re­sem­bling Adolf Hitler on the cover, along with the phrase "Heil Hitler" in Ja­panese char­ac­ters.

The out­fit was on sale for about 5,000 yen ($60) in at least two Don Qui­jote out­lets in Tokyo, in­clud­ing one in the up­scale Ginza shop­ping district. Aico, a Ja­panese party goods maker, has made the cos­tume for seven years and never had a com­plaint, said spokesman Nobuyoshi Na­suzawa. He said his com­pany uses dis­trib­u­tors and so wasn't aware of which re­tail­ers sold it.

Don Qui­jote said it would pull the prod­uct af­ter be­ing told of a let­ter from the Simon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter, a Jewish rights or­ga­ni­za­tion based in Los An­ge­les. The let­ter, dated Mon­day, re­quested that sales at the store im­me­di­ately cease, say­ing that mil­lions of Jews and other in­no­cents were killed by the Nazis dur­ing World War II and that the swastika re­mains a "sym­bol of ha­tred."

"We want to fully re­spond to this let­ter from the cen­ter and are cur­rently work­ing within the com­pany to do so," said com­pany spokes­woman Kana Ka­sai in Tokyo.

Ka­sai said she didn't im­me­di­ately know how long the prod­uct had been on sale or how many had been sold.

The Nazi cos­tume was on dis­play in the store along­side dozens of oth­ers, in­clud­ing one that re­sem­bled pop star Michael Jack­son, as well as nurse and ninja out­fits.

"This was meant purely as a joke, as some­thing that would eas­ily be rec­og­niz­able. If we have com­plaints will cer­tainly stop sales," said Na­suzawa, the Aico spokesman. An on­line search showed the cos­tume was be­ing sold by small re­tail­ers hosted on the shop­ping sites such as Ama­zon Ja­pan, the U.S. com­pany's lo­cal unit. An Ama­zon spokesman in Tokyo was not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment. -Ap

WAR­SAW: Rus­sia's Pres­i­dent Dmitry Medvedev lays a wreath at a mon­u­ment ded­i­cated to thou­sands of Soviet of­fi­cers and troops killed dur­ing World War II while driv­ing Nazi Ger­mans from the city, in War­saw. -Ap

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